Lactobacillus helveticus is a lactic-acid
producing bacteria that often used in the
production of various cheeses including
mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan, and Swiss. This
bacteria helps enhance the flavor of the cheeses
and can help reduce or prevent bitterness.
Lactobacillus helveticus, also known as L.
helveticus, is a considered “good” bacteria that
is beneficial to the health of the human body.
For this reason, L. helveticus is often referred
to as a probiotic. This bacteria is not only
found in certain types of cheeses but may also
be found in certain types of fermented milk. It
may also be found in the form of a dietary
supplement. L. helveticus “has been well studied
and several probiotic effects are reported in
the literature [such as the] ability to survive
in the stomach and to reach the intestine alive,
exerting antimicrobial activities against
pathogens, alleviating symptoms of lactose
intolerance, helping to prevent and reduce the
duration of diarrhea, possibly reducing the
cholesterol level, and helping the natural
Lactobacillus helveticus is a probiotic that
provides its host with potential health benefits
such as: the inhibition of potential pathogens,
anti-mutagenic and anti-tumorigenic activity,
anti-hypertensive activity, and immunomodulatory
activity.(2) It has been reported that L.
helveticus “stimulates the immune & digestive
system, controls diarrhea, reduces lactose
intolerance and inhibits unfriendly bacteria.
Lactobacillus helveticus enhance the recovery of
gut atrophy induced by malnutrition.”(2) A
number of studies have been conducted in regard
to the myriad of potential health benefits
offered by L. helveticus. These studies have
focused on health topics such as bone mineral
density and bone mineral content, calcium and
bone metabolism, arterial stiffness, and blood
BONE MINERAL DENSITY AND BONE MINERAL CONTENT
According to research conducted in 2004, milk
fermented with L. helveticus compared to
ordinary sour milk was shown to be more
effective at increasing calcium absorption.(3)
Along with L. helveticus-fermented milk ,sour
milk, skim milk and water were utilized in this
study to determine how bone mineral density and
bone mineral content were affected by these food
products. It was found that “the L. helveticus-fermented
milk intervention significantly increased the
bone mineral density and bone mineral content
compared to the sour milk, skim milk and water
interventions.”(3). The conclusion of this study
indicates that “L. helveticus-fermented milk
increases bone mineral density and bone mineral
content in relation to body weight in the
long-term feeding of growing rats.”(3)
Furthermore, a 2004 study indicated that “L.
helveticus fermented milk supports bone mineral
density in animal models and increases calcium
absorption in postmenopausal women.”(4)
ARTERIAL STIFFNESS AND BLOOD PRESSURE
Arterial stiffness is associated with
cardiovascular disease, which includes both
heart attack and stroke. According to a study
conducted in 2007, L. helveticus fermented milk
that contains certain tripeptides showed a
positive effect on arterial stiffness. The
research from this study indicates that “[the
ambulatory arterial stiffness index] improved
significantly in the peptide milk group, but not
in the placebo groups, suggesting a mechanism
for the antihypertensive effects of these
peptides.”(5) Peptides are the building blocks
for proteins and are small structures built by
amino acids.(6) A tripeptide such as
isoleucine-proline-proline, which is a milk
peptide, can have a blood pressure lowering
affect. Additionally, “a fermented milk product
with the biologically active peptides
isoleucyl-prolyl-proline (Ile-Pro-Pro) was shown
to lower blood pressure in spontaneously
hypertensive rats.”(7) Because health problems
such as arterial stiffness may be related to
untreated high blood pressure, adding L.
helveticus to one's diet may contribute to
improved arterial health.
The addition of Lactobacillus helveticus to a
diet may help lower blood pressure, increase
calcium absorption, decrease arterial stiffness,
and increase bone mineral content/density. L.
helveticus is a beneficial bacteria that can
help reduce or prevent the growth of unhealthy
bacteria within the body thereby improving the
overall health of an individual.
1. Probiotic Strains. Published on Innovative
Ingredients for Innovative Foods, Lal'Food-Institute
2. Lactobacillus Helveticus. Published by
Wellness Advocate, Wellness Advocate & Wellness
3. Effects of Long-Term Intervention with
Lactobacillus Helveticus – Fermented Milk on
Bone Mineral Density and Bone Mineral Content in
Growing Rats. Published in Annal of Nutrition &
Metabolism, Journal of Nutrition, Metabolic
Diseases and Dietetics. 2004.
4. Narva, M. (2004). Effects of Lactobacillus
Helveticus Fermented Milk and Milk-Derived
Bioactive Peptides (CPP, IPP, and VPP) on
Calcuim and Bone Metabolism. Institute of
Biomedicine, Pharmacology. University of
5. Lactobacillus Helveticus Fermented Milk
Reduces Arterial Stiffness in Hypersensitive
Subjects, published in International Dairy
Journal, ScienceDirect. 2007.
6. Lysis. What Are Peptides? Published by eHow.
7. Seppo, L., Jauhiainen, T., Poussa, T. and
Korpela, R. (Unknown). A Fermented Milk High in
Bioactive Peptides has a Blood Pressure-Lowering
Effect in Hypersensitive Subjects. The American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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